Moroccan wins African Innovation Foundation $100k grand prize

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Moroccan researcher Adnane Remmal was last night announced the winner of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), walking away with the US$100,000 grand prize ahead of Kenyan and South African entries.

The AIF hosted the Innovation Prize for Africa in collaboration with Morocco’s Ministry of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy in Skhirat yesterday.

Remmal was declared overall winner for his solution, which improves livestock production whilst taking into account consumer health needs.

Kenyan Alex Mwaura Muriu and South African Lesley Erica Scott shared the Special Prize for Social Impact, winning US$25,000 each. Muriu helps African farmers access capital to finance planting and harvesting through his Farm Capital Africa project, while Scott developed an effective World Health Organisation (WHO)-approved calibration method for TB diagnostics machines.

Remmal’s patented alternative to livestock antibiotics, the judges felt, is set to transform the broader medical and agricultural sector in Africa. Its anti-microbial formula reduces health hazards in livestock, preventing the transmission of multi-resistant germs and carcinogens to human beings through consumption of milk, eggs and meat.

“My innovation provides farmers with solutions to improve their production. It is cost effective and can be easily adopted, giving farmers increased benefits without the side effects of antibiotics,” he said.

AIF founder Jean Claude Bastos de Morais said he was pleased with the level of innovation for this year’s prize after it received 925 applications from 41 countries.

“I am truly impressed with this year’s winning innovations, which have once again surpassed expectations,” he said.

“At the same time, I am aware that the buck cannot stop here. Let us put it this way; no matter how high a bird flies, it always needs a nest, a base to come back to. African innovators are taking flight, their innovative ideas are increasingly proving to be transformative – not only for Africa – but for the world. Through the IPA, the AIF is fostering the development of robust innovation ecosystems, which are essentially nests for African entrepreneurs and innovators to develop solutions for African challenges.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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